Was there any poor business conduct in the Swedish – South African Jas Gripen affair? New evidence seems to suggest there was.


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Tuesday, 17 May 2011
Some few years ago there was much talk of bribery that precipitated the sales on the Swedish made Jas Grippen fighter jets to South Africa. It looked like it was business as usual and that those who pitched the business to the South Africans did a great marketing job. But it turned out that, that was not the case and that money has passed under the table from Saab side to the South Africans.

Argument and counter arguments with limited data and evidence meant that the case of suspected bribery was laid to rest. But today new evidence has emerged which suggest that bribery did take place to instigate the sale of Saab fighter jets.

More light was thrown over Jas business with South Africa and it showed that a secret agreement in which  Saab’s subsidiary offered millions of dollars in "bonuses" to the then South African Defence Minister's special adviser did take place.

Swedish television channel 4’s investigative program Kalla Fakta (cold facts) has spilled that beans and open loose an agreement between Sanip, Saab's fully owned subsidiary in South Africa, and the important advisor,  Fana Hlongwane.

Sanip (South African National Industrial Participation) operates in a partnership between Saab and British BAE. Though the company is 100 percent owned by Saab, the Swedish aircraft manufacturer claim that BAE system effectively controlled Sanip fully.


The agreement between Sanip boss Bernard Collier and Fana Hlongwane was signed on 10 September 2003. It gives the South African right to salary and bonus of at least eight million U.S. dollars if the giant arms deal was completed.

According to a statement Sanip paid him about 50 million USD at 19 different occasions between the years 2003 to 2005, reveals TV4’s program.

Hen the news was make know, criminal investigations in the three countries have not led anywhere. Saab’s CEO H�kan Buskhe believes that it is impossible to prove that Saab has committed an irregularity.
"We have zero tolerance for not having an ethical way of doing business," he told TV4 news.

Saab has previously claimed that Sanip was handled by partner BAE and that it did not have any insight into the company. It did not even know who Hlongwane was, it was claimed.

Critics argue that Saab is trying to cover up because It is unimaginable that they did not know what Sanip was doing and what relationships they had. It was Saab employees who were working at Sanip.

According to the British and the South African criminal investigators, Hlongwane was suspected of

On behalf of Saab and BAE bribed South African politicians to accept the second part of Jas-Gripen deal (they had the option to cancel the order after ten planes). 
On behalf of Saab and BAE have bribed South African officials and politicians to approve counter-trade with the Saab / BAE has not really been implemented.
By Team

Some Key facts
1999 defence company Saab sold 28 Jas Gripen to South Africa to Skr15 billion. The last delivered will occur next year. While the British partner BAE Systems was also selling 24 trainer aircraft of the model Hawk.
* Bribery suspicion has long shadowed the mammoth arms deal. An amount up to Skr1.3 billion has been mentioned.
* In Sweden, former chief prosecutor Christer van der Kwast was forced to close down the criminal investigation in 2009 for lack of evidence. Even in South Africa's criminal investigation also closed.
* In the UK, BAE agreed in 2010 to prosecutor to pay damages of Skr3.7 billion.

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